canal tours

After a gargantuan lunch of pancakes, whipped cream and cherries, followed by Dutch koffie, we decided to take a canal tour. Being close to the sea, Amsterdam is famous for its canals, bordered by the narrow houses and drooping trees. There are around 250 bridges, of which some open to let the bigger barges in. Apparently, Amsterdam is home to the excuse for being late ‘The bridge was open- I couldn’t cross”. We hopped into our boat and headed through the still, green blue waters, adjusting our headphones for the audio tour. We passed the Nemo Science Museum and the National Ballet and Opera Building. We passed through the quiet backwaters, near peoples houses.

The boat driver stopped to tell us about the sloping houses of Amsterdam- the city was built on wooden poles stuck into marsh, so the houses slowly began to tilt. This gave them the effect of being drunk and the chance for the guide to tell us another Amsterdam joke- “Oh she fell out ‘cos she forgot to strap herself in”.

Although the canals of Venice are supposed to be scenic, the canals of Amsterdam could beat them hands down. We saw a canal with 7 bridges in a row, that went past beautiful houses. Also, when winter comes, the Dutch shut down their canals and let them freeze over so that people can skate or play ice hockey. And the canals in Venice stink.

The tour got over and we got out of the boat, heading towards the Anne Frank Huis, to be scared off by the 2 hour line.

We headed to the Centrum, along the misty green water of the canals.

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